- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 3, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) - A former DeKalb County commissioner admitted to stealing from the county and pleaded guilty Wednesday to two federal charges against her.

Elaine Boyer used a county charge card to make personal purchases and funneled county money to a personal account by billing the county for the services of an adviser who did no work for the county, prosecutors have said. She stole a total of about $90,000, they said.

After federal prosecutor Jeffrey Davis outlined the government’s case against Boyer, U.S. District Judge Orinda Evans questioned her about the allegations.

“Did you know what you were doing was wrong?” Evans asked.

“Yes, your Honor,” Boyer said.

“Did you know that you were cheating DeKalb?” Evans asked.

“Yes, your Honor,” Boyer said.

Boyer, who had served on the commission for more than 20 years, resigned last week, a day before federal prosecutors filed charges against her. She entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors and has been cooperating in their broader investigation in DeKalb County, prosecutors said.

She faces one count of mail fraud conspiracy and one count of wire fraud. Each of the two counts carries a possible maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The judge also is expected to order her to pay restitution. Boyer is set to be sentenced Dec. 3.

The judge will calculate sentencing guidelines based on a variety of factors before sentencing. Prosecutors have recommended that Boyer receive a sentence at the lower end of the guideline range.

Boyer is accused of using invoices to authorize payments to an adviser, who was not charged last week. As a result, between September 2009 and November 2011, DeKalb County mailed about 35 checks totaling more than $78,000 to the adviser, who in turn funneled about 75 percent of that money into Boyer’s personal bank account, according to the court filing.

Boyer is also accused of using a county Visa purchasing card to make more than 50 personal purchases for herself and her family for personal travel, according to the filing. Prosecutors also say she used the card to make $15,000 in purchases for personal goods and services from October 2010 to February 2014.

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